UNISON warns, “Cuts cost lives” – on Workers Memorial Day

On Workers Memorial Day (28 April), UNISON is warning that the number of workplace deaths will rocket, as Government cuts and job losses pile pressure on workers and lead to bosses cutting corners.

Staff who keep their jobs will be expected to do more work, with bullying, lone working, manual handling, stress and violence running rife. Health and safety enforcement agencies are also being hit by huge cut backs, which will lead to failures in dodging daily dangers.

The UK’s largest union is asking its members to hold a minute’s silence, to remember workers who have died, or been injured, across the UK and internationally.

UNISON’s General Secretary, Dave Prentis, who will be holding a minute’s silence at midday, said:

“The Government’s cuts will cost lives. Too many workers are still suffering because of workplace injuries, yet the Government is adding to the risks by piling pressure on staff and enforcement agencies.

“Last year the Labour Government officially recognised Workers Memorial Day, this year the Government is cutting away at health and safety.

“Staff deserve to know that they will not be at risk when they start a hard day’s work. They should not have to fear for their lives while providing vital public services.

“Around 70 per cent of workplace accidents are due to the poor health and safety management. The Government must stop this figure spiraling, as we know that there is an alternative.”